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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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CNN

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03:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 30, Cnn 27, Obama 18, Washington 18, America 15, Chicago 13, Benghazi 12, Chapman 10, Mindy Mccready 10, Pentagon 9, Danica Patrick 8, Israel 8, Florida 8, U.s. 8, Russia 8, John Mccain 7, Spiro 7, Arkansas 7, South Carolina 6, Mccain 6,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    February 18, 2013
    1:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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trying to work with the banks and lenders so they can ease up on some of the restrictions. driver danica patrick wins the pole position for the daytona 500. that makes her the first woman to start the legendary race. patrick told cnn's don lemon that she loves the idea of going beyond racing in general. >> one of the coolest things is to be able to think that parents and their kids are having that conversation at home about it. and to, you know, i've heard stories about, look, a kid, a boy or a girl, saying, but mommy, daddy, that's a girl that's out there racing, and then they can have that conversation to say, you can do anything you want to do and gender doesn't matter. your passion is what matters. and that's cool. >> patrick won the pole position by going more than 196 miles an hour, that's almost 200 miles an hour. the daytona 500 is sunday. man's best friend is also a lifesaver. charlie, a border collie mix, is getting credit for saving mike cameron.
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first, charlie woke cameron up by jumping on his chest as a fire raged in his house in nova scotia last week. cameron says he got up and started looking for his cats. he said he collapsed by the door but felt charlie burning him out of the pulling house by his shoulders. cameron believe also the pooch rounded up the cats and herded them to safety. that does it for me. i'm deb feyerick. thanks so much for spending your afternoon with us. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer starts right now. happening now, a teenager's excitement at seeing the president speak about gun control is marred by tragedy only hours later. her sister became a victim of gun violence. music fans shocked at the death of a troubled country star. we're now learning new information about mindy mccready's apparent suicide. plus, an explosive look at letters from don lemon's assassin to the police officer who arrested him. it turns out the music star wasn't his only target.
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i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com an epidemic of gun violence getting deadlier by the day. chicago saw more than 500 killings last year. up 15% from the year before. and there's no letup so far this year. among the latest victims, the sister of this teenager. while she was listening to president obama call for gun control, she had no way of knowing that in a matter of only a few hours, her family would become the latest in chicago to be ripped apart by a gunshot. her 18-year-old sister was shot and killed while walking with friends, one of whom may have been the intended target. cnn's ted rowlands has moran the story. he's joining us now. what are you finding out, ted?
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>> reporter: well, wolf, it is just another tragic story coming out of chicago. another teenager loses her life. as you mention, a 14-year-old girl who was up on stage with the president, listening to him talk about gun violence, would soon find out that her sister was also shot and killed. when president obama returned to chicago last week to talk about gun violence, 14-year-old destiny warren was one of the high school students standing behind him. a few hours later, destiny's 18-year-old sister was shot and killed in this alley in north chicago. >> all this gun violence that's going on out here, you never think it will be your child. this is the hardest thing for me in my life. >> reporter: according to family members, jenay wasn't the intended target. the same was apparently true in 15-year-old heidi's murder.
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her parents also attended the president's chicago speech where he said this about the girl's death. >> what happened is not unique. >> reporter: the parents say they were heart broken to find out another chicago family is now dealing with the loss of a child. >> just knowing how devastated this mother actually was just because i can relate now. my heart it just feels totally different. i was devastated for her. >> reporter: the family says they called the mcfarland family to offer condolences. she had talked about the murder a few days before being killed. >> she was like, that's sad, i feel so bad for that little girl. every time she saw kids on tv, she was like, mama, that's so sad, i feel so bad for these people that got to leave their kids. >> reporter: jenay had a 3 mund son who will now grow up without a mother. her parents say they will raise him and try their best to keep
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him safe. wolf, sadly, she wallace not the only teenager to die last friday night after president obama's speech. 18-year-old francis cologne, a senior in high school here in chicago, was also killed. her family said that she saw the president's helicopter flying over the city of chicago. she went to a corner store to get a pop and some chips and was caught in gang cross fire. a senior in high school. her family said she wanted to be a lawyer. wolf. >> is it on track now, the gang violence, the deaths, the senseless killings that are going on in chicago right now, potentially to be even worse this year than last? because last was awful. >> reporter: yeah, it was. and yes, the answer to your question, if things continue as they have already this year in the month of january, 42 murders, that's the most in the month of january since 2002. if it continues at this pace, unbelievably, chicago will have more murders this year than even last. >> ted rowlands, thanks very
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much. this important note to our viewers. i'm going to be speaking with jenay mcfarland's mother about her family's tragedy, later tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern, i'm filling in for anderson cooper on "a.c. 360." shock at the apparent suicide of country star mindy mccready. her life sounded like the lyrics of a heartbreak ballad, including drug abuse, domestic violence and mental illness and a very public effort to overcome it all. cnn's ed lavandera joining us from arkansas where mccready lived. what are you hearing there, what's the latest? >> reporter: the investigators here in heber springs, arkansas, continue to investigate this case. the sheriff's department was the ones that were called out to the house here just a few miles away from where we are. they say they were called out because a neighbor heard gunshots around 3:30 in the afternoon yesterday. when authorities arrived on the scene is when they discovered
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the body of mindy mccready on her front porch. they also discovered, they'd also gotten another phone call after that initial 911 phone call from a friend of hers saying that person had gotten an urgent message from a family member of mccready's so clearly someone must have known that something was going on or not everything was quite right because they had two calls to race out to the scene and when authorities arrived at the house, they found her body on the front porch. authorities tell me they ki discovered mccready's dog, she had killed her dog, the dog was on the porch lying next to her. the sheriff tells me this was a dog mindy and her fiance david wilson who died just a month ago here on that very same porch, that this was a dog that the couple had bought together after they moved here back in november of 2011. so a tragic situation all around. and the sheriff hopes that people will remember her for her music, not what has happened here in the last 24 hours.
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>> i know that she's had her issues in the past. i'm not here to talk about those. but i would hope there could be some compassion for the family in this difficult situation, because it is a difficult situation. any time someone's life comes to a tragic end at the age of 37 years. >> reporter: and, wolf, of course, a lot of people also concerned about her -- mindy's two boys, a 6-year-old boy and a 10-month-old boy. we're told by people close to mindy mccready that those two boys are currently in foster care and being well taken care of at this point. she's involved in a custody battle with the father of her oldest child as well. we're also told by representatives of mindy they're planning a memorial service in nashville, tennessee, in the coming days to honor her as well, wolf. >> no evidence of a suicide note or anything along those lines, ed? >> reporter: we asked the
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sheriff about that. he said he couldn't talk about it because it's still an ongoing investigation. we haven't gotten any indication that anything like that might have been left. but it was clear that there was something going on with people close to her because of that second 911 phone call that authorities here say they received shortly after that initial phone call. the neighbor saying they had heard two gunshots. they say that everything so far sees to be consistent with this being a suicide and no other foul play suspected at this point. >> ed lavandera on the scene for us in arkansas, thank you. mccready's suicide could become part of the national debate over gun laws. government records for 2010 show 3 out of 5 gun deaths in the united states were suicides. that grim proportion has been roughly the same every year for the past decade. we'll have much more on this story coming up. dr. drew pinsky will join me live here in "the situation room" in the next hour. he recently spoke to mccready.
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we're going to talk about that conversation, what she said to him and much more. tomorrow, the south african olympic athlete oscar pistorius will be in court. a memorial service will be held for his model girlfriend who he is accused of killing. cnn's robyn kurnow has more. >> reporter: a beautiful girl, a beach and a reality tv show. which showed contestant reeva's romantic side. >> you fall in love with being in love. >> reporter: she died just days before this aired. it will continue to run on south african television for the next nine weeks. meanwhile, her boyfriend, the double amputee and olympic athlete, oscar pistorius, spent the past few days in this jail, charged with her murder. the charge strongly denied by pistorius and his family. this is his uncle, flanked by his sister, who struggle also to keep herself together as they make a brief statement to the media. >> as you can imagine, our entire family is devastated.
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we are in a state of total shock. they had plans together and oscar was happy in his private life. than i've seen him in a long time. we're all grieved about reeva and our hearts go out to her family and friends. oscar, as you can imagine, is also numb with shock and grief and total pain. >> reporter: investigators who have been combing through his home in this high-security complex are starting to piece together what they think happened early on valentine's day. it was in this bedroom that steenkamp may have expected to spend the night. according to officials close to the investigation her overnight bag was found in here. pistorius invited cnn into his room in 2008 when these pictures were taken. cnn is also being told steenkamp
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was shot four times through a bathroom door. authorities say afterwards pistorius carried her down these stairs while she was still alive. as the legal process now begins against the man known as blade runner, all of oscar's future races have been canceled. he was scheduled to run in australia, brazil, the u.s., the uk and russia. while pistorius is in court on tuesday for a bail hearing, reeva's family says they'll be a memorial service for her as producers of her reality show released this farewell message from her, meant to be to the cast, but which now becomes her last words, her last good-bye. >> i take with me so many amazing memories and things that are in here and in here that i'll treasure forever. i'm going to miss you all so much. i love you very, very much. >> what a sad story that is. robyn kurnow reporting for us. we'll have more on that later here in "the situation room" as well. other news we're following including some painful budget
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cuts that will be felt by all of us. they're not only days away, they could affect you in some unexpected ways. plus, senator john mccain is alleging a massive cover-up on the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. >> so it's the state department's fault? who would you blame? who is responsible then? i've always had to keep my eye on her... but, i didn't always watch out for myself. with so much noise about health care... i tuned it all out. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics.
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it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here. senator john mccain's been pressing almost everyone from the military's top brass to the white house for answers about last september's dead lei taly on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. now he's accusing the obama administration, i'm quoting him now, of a, quote, massive cover-up. let's bring in our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. she's working this story for us. how those are pretty stinging and strong words, barbara. >> reporter: absolutely, wolf. you know, the whole benghazi situation has already led to delays in confirming some of president obama's key
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appointees. chuck hagel at defense, john brennan at the cia, and now senator mccain saying he is not ready to call it a day on all of this. a congress hearing -- >> then you ought to have your facts straight. >> reporter: after congressional hearing. >> who responsible then? >> reporter: republican senator john mccain challenge, the white house on its response to benghazi. now he is going further on nbc's "meet the press." >> so there are many, many questions and we have had a massive cover-up. >> a cover-up of what? i'm just saying you, a cover-up of what? >> i'll be glad to send you a list of questions that have not been answered. >> reporter: the white house says it's given answers. conducted 20 briefings for congress. officials have testified at ten hearings, answered how queries. it all adds up to 10,000 pages of documents. just last week, mccain himself told cnn recent responses on benghazi were, quote, adequate.
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so, is this just politics? when we asked mccain's office what other questions the senator still had, we were referred to this january press release, listing 14 questions. like this one mccain repeated on "meet the press." >> what did the president do and who did he talk to the night of the attack on benghazi? >> reporter: but some answers are already out there. regarding what obama knew, obama's chief of staff said the president was briefed throughout the night, and the secretary of defense told congress obama acted soon after the attack unfolded. >> after the initial reports about the attack in benghazi, we received, general dempsey and i met with president obama and he ordered all available dod assets to respond to the attack. >> reporter: mccain also wants to know what also did the president take? in this letter to congress, it
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said obama himself was called the day after the attack. mccain also asking did the president and secretary of state clinton know about a cable from ambassador chris steves warning the danconsulate, quote, could sustain an assault. he strongly believes that the obama administration simply did not support the fragile libyan government enough in the early days. that led to a fragile security situation that he believes that, at the end of the day, contributed to this attack. >> as you know, getting the answers to these questions, part of the issue's involved chuck hagel. by now, there was supposed to be a new defense secretary. leon panetta was supposed to be already back in california. but all that is set back. what's the latest? what's going on with panetta? he's staying put, i take it, for
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the time being? >> reporter: he is staying in office and running the pentagon till hagel is confirmed. but not necessarily running the pentagon from right here. he went back to his california home over the weekend. he will travel this week to brussels for a nato summit. hagel was supposed to go to that summit. and then the big question is, after that, somewhere in the saturday, sunday, monday time frame, will leon panetta just go back to california, continue to do the job from there? will he have to come back to washington? tuesday's the big day, wolf, that's when we may find out hagel's fate. >> as far as hagel is concerned, how much grumbling, if any, do you hear over there at the pentagon, that he's becoming such a political, i guess, cause, democrats supporting him, republicans opposing him, that if in fact he is confirmed, he probably will be, but if he's confirmed, he won't be an effective representative for the pentagon in dealing with congress? because you really do need bipartisan support.
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>> reporter: well, this is going to be a very delicate political issue. as you know, wolf, the pentagon like, to say it doesn't get involved in politics. far from true in reality, of course. the question is will hagel be so damaged by this bruising confirmation fight? but i talked to his brother last week. his brother says he has not given up. he's in for the long haul, that we will become secretary of defense. but will he have the political capital in congress to make it all work? wolf. >> yeah, how much damage has already been caused to his potential tenure at the pentagon by this political battle over these past few months. all right, barbara, thanks very, very much. we know the cause of the fire that set off the cruise nightmare leaving the ship soiled with raw sewage, passengers stranded for days.
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. today, we learned what caused the fire that crippled the cruise ship the carnival triumph. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. >> we have just learned this new information, that it was a leaky oil line in one of its engines. the u.s. coast guard says the fire began when a fuel oil return line made contact with a hot surface. the flexible hose pipes are supposed to get regular preventive maintenance. the coast guard commander also praised the crew for doing, quote, a very good job containing that fire. one of the country's most iconic magazines is in financial trouble. the parent company of "readers digest" filed for bankruptcy today. the court's documents says its $465 million in debt but intends
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to keep publishing its u.s. magazines while it restructures. "readers digest" which has been around for 90 years and was once the most popular magazine in the country also went through bank is bankruptcy in 2010. the hacker changed burger king's profile picture to a mcdonald's logo and send out a tweet announcing the company had been sold to mcdonald's because the whopper flopped. twitter suspended the account about an hour later. for the record, mcdonald's denies having anything to do with this hack. sarah palin's coming to washington next month. palin joins a who's who of prominent republicans on the speakers list for cpac, the conservative political action conference. at least six of the speakers are possible 2016 presidential candidates. they are of course marco rubio, rand paul, paul ryan, rick san
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tomorr santorum and jeb bush. we have some sad news for basketball fans. los angeles lakers owner jerry buss died today. he was 80 years old and had been fighting cancer. he took over the lakers in 1979. they won ten nba titles under his ownership and he made the nba hall of fame. so we're sad to hear of this loss. what a remarkable career. he built this entire franchise. it was more than just a team, it was a brand essentially. >> the lakers. just take a look at what they've accomplished. he was the owner. you've got to give him a lot of credit. >> he brought in some of those big names like magic johnson. you know them, some of your favorite stars as well, kobe bryant, made them the superstars. >> huge, huge operation now in part because -- not only lakers but all the nba, spent the weekend at the nba all-star game in houston, and you see how it's grown over these past 30 years. amazing growth. he played a significant role. >> our viewers may not know but
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you are quite the basketball fan, wolf. >> if they follow me on twitter, they know. thank you. america's natural treasures on the chopping block. many of them. we're going to show you how some pretty severe looming spending cuts will impact our national parks. we'll also take you to a spot where a fragment of that meteor slammed into a lake after friday's explosion over russia. ♪ come on, boy! [ barks ] ♪ oh, heavenly day here we go. ♪ cha-cha-cha ♪ don't you know that i love ya ♪ ♪ cha-cha-cha-cha-cha ♪ always thinking of ya ♪ all around the world ♪ everybody singin' along ♪ singin' along ♪ fly me to the moon ♪ let me play among the stars ♪ let me see what spring -- ♪ [ birds chirping ]
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the u.s. once again teetering on a so-called fiscal cliff of sorts. on march 1st, that's the end of next week, some $85 billion in mandatory across the board spending cuts will take effect unless congress takes action before then. these cuts will impact all of us. when you shop, you may see some shortages, some higher prices. the agriculture department says it may have to furlough some of its inspectors. when you fly, you may see longer
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wait times at airport security. if the transportation security administration has to cut its personnel there. if you have children in school, you might feel the pinch as well. education could lose $725 million. that means fewer teachers. larger classes. 70,000 low-income children potentially losing head start funding. those are just a few of the examples of what might be in store. and even if none of that impacts you, this will. some experts warn the combined impact of all of this could plunge the economy back into recession. even america's greatest natural wonders like the grand canyon will feel the pinch, along with millions of americans who visit the country's national park, each year. cnn's emily schmidt has more on that. >> reporter: if richard wood has seen one national park, he's seen them all or hopes to. how many parks have you been to? >> well, over 200. 2350 approximately.
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>> reporter: with great fall, virginia, checked off the list, there are about 150 to go. >> the national park service is, you know, there's nothing like it in the world. >> reporter: the national park service covered more than 84 million acres in every state but delaware. and soon may do so with less because of mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, slated to begin march 1st. >> it looks like the sequester is probably going to happen. >> reporter: john garter works for a nonprofit group that supports the national parks and he's loworried about the loomin changes. >> 5% is a lot for the national park service. >> reporter: preparing to cut $110 million out of its $2.2 billion budget. that could mean shorter park hours, fewer employees and possible closed camping and hiking areas when there's not enough staff. >> a cut of this magnitude, which would be so damaging to parks over the course of a year, federal spending, say, 15 minutes. >> reporter: yellowstone could lose $1.75 million. the national mall, $1.6 million. the statue of liberty, $779,000.
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still, one budget expert says the cuts are not too extreme. >> i think almost every organization can sustain a 5% cut in their budget and not have it interfere with their basic mission. >> reporter: isabel sawhill says taxpayers may not mind getting a bit less in service to help control government spending. richard wood agrees in theory, just not here. >> i'm a big national park service fan. i want them to cut programs that don't matter to me personally. i think unfortunately all of us feel that way. >> reporter: the national park service says 280 million people visit the park system every year. their concern is if the picture out of washington is one of political disagreement, it's going to ruin this view for an awful lot of people. emily schmidt, cnn, mcclane, virginia. all right, let's talk about what's going on with this forced mandatory budget cuts awaiting the president's return from florida today. joining us, cnn contributor ryan
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liga. this is totally made here in washington. >> totally made here in washington. this started in 2011 when the republicans and the white house could not agree to a grand bargain. and what they did is they decided they needed some incentive to get the long-term deficits under control. that incentive was a policy that everyone agreed was done. so they wrote this into law this would happen on new year's eve that just passed unless they did something smarter and better. unless they made cuts they all agreed were a better solution. so they actually implemented a ticking time bomb in u.s. law to force them to do something better. >> the idea originated in the white house, is that true? >> that is true, according to bob woodward's book, as many house republicans like to point out, the very original idea was proposed by a couple of white house staffers up on the hill. that's where it started.
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both sides agreed to it and the president signed it into law. no matter where it came from, both sides supported it and voted on it. >> but at the time, they really didn't think it would ever happen. they thought there would be leverage on both sides to come up with a deal. that deal over these past many months has not happened. they're now increasing numbers of republicans you're hearing and also some democrats who are saying, well, maybe this is not that bad. >> yeah, i have a piece coming out next week. focuses on house republicans. i've been doing a lot of reporting on this, one of the differences between a lot of the republicans in the house right now, or the 2010 class, the 2012 class, they're not that upset over cuts to the pentagon. they're okay, you know, a group of several dozen house republicans that are fine with cutting the pentagon. and like most traditional republicans, they're okay with cutting discretionary spending too. that has pushed the republican conference into the position of you know what, we're okay with this. >> if it goes into effect, what's called a sequin tration, these forced mandatory cuts as
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of march 1, how much of political problems, substantive problem, would this fobe for th president? >> look, the balance of power in washington is the president is a whole lot more popular than anyone in congress. so he starts -- if this goes into effect and there's a big blame game between the white house and republicans in congress, he starts it with a little bit more leverage. having said that, once people like cnn start pointing out that national parks are closing, that meat inspector budgets are going to be slashed, all sorts of interest groups and all sorts of government spending that people actually care about, the public is going to start to get angry and ask that something be done. i think two sides will fight about who's to blame for that. i think the president starts at a little bit of an advantageous position when that time comes. >> do you see a resolution at midnight, three minutes after midnight, in this particular crisis? >> remember this is the second half of the fiscal cliff. on new year's day what they resolved was the tax hike half
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of the fiscal cliff and they kicked this thing to march 1st. it's not happening that way. on new year's eve, the senate and the white house agreed to a deal, passed overwhelmingly. they kicked it over to the house and the house felt pressure to vote on it. this time, there seems to be no pressure to resolve this in the next ten days. it seems like the senate and the white house are not talking. house republicans are not talking to the white house. even if there is a deal reached, most of the house republican leaders are saying that they are -- they're not going to -- they want the spending cuts, they want the $1.2 trillion over ten years in spending cuts. if the only way to get them is the sequester, they're okay with that. >> reporter: it basically, as far as kicking the can once again down the road, the president said just over the past few weeks, we can't do it by march 1st, let's postpone it once again. >> as we stand here today, there is very little pressure for that to happen and there's very little -- at least that we know about, negotiating going on to extend this deadline.
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i mean, all the leadership in the house, you know, i've interviewed eric cantor recently. he basically said this is going to happen. >> ryan, thank you. did you see the pictures of president obama playing golf this past weekend with tiger woods? neither did we. that's because there weren't any officially released, publicly released. we did get some exclusive video of him playing today. that was really hard to come by. our own brian todd is taking a closer look at why there's so little information, so few pictures coming out of the president's golf trip.
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president obama's about to wrap up a trip to florida that's been shrouded in secrecy.
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today, cnn did obtain these exclusive faraway pictures of the president out there on the golf curiouourse. we've seen nothing of his round of golf, though, with tiger woods. brian todd joining us now. why all the secrecy, why is the white house not letting photographers up close to see the president play some golf? >> there's no clear answers on that, wolf. the white house said media access for his game with tiger woods was consistent with other golf outings. the press corps has complained about this. the political optics don't look great for mr. obama. they're the two most high-profile people in their fields. tiger woods in golf and president obama in, well, almost everything else. we know they played golf together this past weekend. but we have more visuals of the president's inner circle reaching a top secret mission
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the night osama bin laden was killed than we have of mr. obama and tiger woods together during that golf outing. the media covering the president was shut out. the press corps complained. the white house responded by saying the white house was consistent with previous presidential golf outings. it's not unusual for president obama to go golfing away from the media glare. he's golfed here at the army/navy country club and at other places and the press hasn't been allowed. mr. obama am's not the only president whose golf outings were sensitive politically. george w. bush got slammed politically after this moment in 2002. >> i call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. thank you. now watch this drive. >> reporter: president bush stopped playing golf when the u.s. went to war in iraq. cnn senior political analyst ron brownstein says the get-together between president obama and tiger woods could be a similar moment. >> it's not the biggest deal in the world to go golfing with tiger woods but i do find it
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hard to believe that his staff would have not kind of laid down in front the tracks to prevent this before the election. >> reporter: brownstein says the president golfing with woods who was embroiled in a scandal involving multiple counts of marital infidelity, wouldn't have played well with women voters. but there are other optics as well. the automatic spending cuts that could helpurt a lot of people financially. the president is vacationing at a club called the floridian, where according to "golf digest" it costs at least $25,000 to join by invitation only and $12,000 in annual dues. not exactly in reach for the middle class voters mr. obama was trying to win over last year. palm beach post writer was there recently. >> pretty much everything is gated. security at every turn. it's so private and quiet, i literally drove past it before i realized it was there. they don't really make --
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>> reporter: contacted by cnn, white house spokesman josh earnest said, quote, i don't think the american people begrudge their president spending a rare weekend outside washington with some friends on the golf course. he went on to say, that said, the military aides, white house staffers and secret service agents who traveled with him are a reminder that he's never far from the responsibilities of his job. wolf, the white house pushing back a bit. >> they're pushing back. it almost makes it look like they're embarrassed to see a picture of the president together with tiger woods. that's why none of these pictures were allowed. >> that's right. it may not be the best image of them to put out there. i think they realize that at the time. we have to point out, in the overall scheme things, mr. obama vacations much less than his predecessors did. he also does not have a vacation home to go to like the bushes, the kennedys, the reagans had. he's got to go to a place like this. so you can't really begrudge him that. the whole thing with tiger woods is a little different. there were clearly some
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awareness of what the optics would be there. >> thanks, brian. thanks very much. danica patrick is talking with cnn about her barrier-breaking achievement in car racing over the weekend. she became the first woman ever to win pole position at the daytona 500. patrick tells cnn's don lemon she hopes parents and then daughters learn a lesson from what she's done. >> i love that to go beyond racing in general, i mean, just to kind of break gender barriers, i feel that one of the coolest things is to be able to think this parents and then kids are having that conversation at home about it. i've heard stories about a kid, a boy or a girl, saying, but mommy, daddy, that's a girl that's out there racing, and then they can have that conversation to say, you can do anything you want to do. and gender doesn't matter. your passion is what matters. and that's cool. >> cool indeed. the daytona 500 is next sunday. only nine of the pole winners in
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the first 54 daytona 500s won the race. we're getting you more pictures of friday's meteor explosion over russia. at least one of the fragments punched a big hole in a frozen lake. ♪ my friends are all around me ♪ my friends, they do surround me ♪ ♪ i hope this never ends ♪ and we'll be the best of friends ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing the reimagined 2013 chevrolet traverse. all set? all set. with spacious seating for up to eight. imagine that. chevrolet. find new roads.
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people in russia still are posting amazing pictures of last friday's fireball and meteor explosion over siberiasiberia. it cost $33 million in damage. some of the chunks that made it all the way to the earth's surface were pretty big. cnn's phil black visited the lake and found the hole is
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already starting to freeze over again. >> reporter: this was a point of impact. this is where locals say they saw a fragment of the meteor break off when it was still overhead, slamming into this frozen lake. the ice here is really thick. this lake is frozen for about six months of the year. but locals say the impact created a huge explosion of ice and snow high up into the air and a big steam cloud as well. up on the surface here, scientists have been combing this whole area. and they say that they have found 53 individual pieces of the meteorite. a bigger mystery remains, what lies beneath the ice? scientists are pretty sure there are even bigger fragments now sitting beneath the ice, beneath ten meters of water, on the bottom of this lake. some divers have been in to see what they could find but they say it was very silty, visibility was poor, they found
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nothing. they're going to try again in the spring when this snow and ice melts. scientists believe that will be the best time to find any fragments that made it to the surface. not just here at the lake but across the vast snow-covered siberian wilderness. phil black, cnn, on the lake near chalusk, russia. we're hearing reports of reuters reporting thousands of people are combing through the woods, some hoping tiny fragments could bring more than 40 times the current price of gold. scientists say you should be aware of ads on the internet promising to sell meteorite fragments that may or may not be authentic. john lennon's assassin had other famous targets in mind and he reveals that in a series of letters to the police officer who arrested him. we're going to get an exclusive look at those letters. see life in the best light. outdoors, or in.
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in denver, hundreds participate in the flash mob event to demand an end to violence against women. send in your photos to cnn i-report.com or through instagram using #cnnireport. the man who killed john lennon had other famous targets in mind. one of the shocking revelations in a series letters chapman wrote to the police officer who arrested him. cnn's alina cho got an exclusive look. alina's joining us now. alina, what else do these letters reveal? >> wolf, great to see you. the most interesting part about these letters is they were addressed to the man who arrested mark davis chapman. officer steve spurro was first on the scene on that night that len non was fatally shot. oddly, chapman felt close to spiro. in fact, so much so, he sent four letters to him and spiro wrote back. you're looking at the words of a
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killer. this is a first exclusive look at the letters mark davis chapman wrote to his arresting officer, steve spiro. spiro was first on the scene on the night chapman fatally shot john lennon outside lennon's home, the dakota, in new york city, december 8th, 1980. what did chapman say to you, if anything? >> the first thing he said was, i acted alone. i thought that was very strange. then he said, don't hurt me and don't let anybody else hurt me. and i said, no, nobody's going to hurt you. >> reporter: once at the police station, spiro says he spent more than five hours with chapman. >> he was going like this, like with heartburn. i said, what's the matter? he said, i have a little heartburn. i said, you want some rolaids or something like that? he said, you would do that for me? i said yeah. for some he trusted me i guess because i didn't beat him up or something. >> reporter: spiro put him in a holding pen, searched him and took his property.
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including a copy of j.d. saling jer's "the catcher in the rye." >> one the first things he asked in a letter he wrote to me, do you know where my copy of "the catcher in the rye" is? i said, yeah, it's in a desk at the attorney's office, it's vouched. >> reporter: you wrote back to him? why? >> i think because i wanted to have him admit certain things that never got to trial. >> reporter: like this. look closely in this letter. dated march 10th, 1983. one of four letters chapman wrote to spiro. chapman writes, lennon was a phony of highest degree but there were others who could and would have served the same purpose. spiro says chapman had a hit list that went beyond john lennon. others targeted include jackie o onassis. why? spiro says chapman thought these
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people were phony and hated phoniness. much like the main character in "the catcher in the rye." >> he said these people on the hit list, including john lennon, were phonies, they were not taking their money and giving it to the charities that he thought they should be giving to. >> reporter: chapman writes, lennon sat in a bed and imagined. why wasn't he rolling up his denims and getting buti inting ? steve, it is all in "the catcher in the rye." now exactly 30 years later spiro is selling those four letters, asking price, $75,000. when i asked him why after all of these years, he said he's 66, he's getting older, he has some medical issues. he wants to use that money to pay medical bills and also donate a portion to charity. by the way, wolf, also up for sale is the album "double fantasy" that lennon signed for mark david chapman just moments
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before chapman killed him. that album could fetch $650,000. unfortunately, spiro is not the one selling it. the original owner actually found it in a planter at the dakota where lennon was killed. >> this police officer and chapman, then had a very unique relationship. expand on that a little bit, alina. >> what's interesting, it seems counterintuitive that this man would have felt a closeness to the man who arrested him, and i asked him why, and he said, you know, i think it was about trust and i also treated him with respect. the reason why he said he did that, wolf, is because of, in one word, professionalism. he said that he believes mark david chapman would never perhaps have admitted to the crime had it not been for that sort of rapport that they were able to produce over that five-hour period that they were together. and, in fact, he would only confess with steve spiro in the room. wolf. >> alina cho reporting, thank you.
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and you're in "the situation room." happening now -- gas prices going through the roof right now and it's still just the middle of winter. 32 days in a row increases at the pump. we're going to tell you what is going on. her deeply troubled personal life overshadowed her singing karg rear. now the words of her songs echo like a cry for help. country music star mindy mccready is dead, an apparent suicide. plus, a man accused of uttering a racial slur and slapping a crying toddler aboard an airliner is out of a job. and that's just for starters. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." president obama spent the day out on the golf course in
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florida once again today. but a leaked draft of his immigration bill is raising eyebrows. back in washington where a bipartisan group of lawmakers, they have been working on an immigration bill. reform bill, a comprehensive bill. the president's version proposes an eight-year path to permanent residency and eventually citizenship for undocumented immigrants. right now, the waiting time for millions of people who want to enter the united states legally could on anywhere from 6 years to 24 years. republicans are crying foul. our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin is joining us now with the latest details. jessica. >> congressional republican sources tell me they're angry that the white house continues to move forward with its own immigration bill without republican input. they say it hurts the effort on capitol hill to work out a bipartisan agreement. senator marco rubio, who's led the republicans effort to work out an immigration compromise,
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now says the white house's proposal is half baked, seriously flawed and dead on arrival. on abc news, former republican vice presidential candidate paul ryan slammed the white house for its immigration politics. >> leaking this out does set things in the wrong direction. >> reporter: the debate had been going so smoothly. what changed? over the weekend, details of the white house's draft immigration bill leaked out. some specifics. the president's bill would allow undocumented work erbs er the president's bill would allow undocumented work erbs s to ap for green cards after eight years. after another five years, they could apply for citizenship. but that's not new. the president proposed the same path to citizenship in 2011. the white house has repeatedly said he stands by that. it's also no secret the white house has written its own immigration bill. the timing of this leak is bad
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politics. just days ago, mr. obama renewed a pledge to let a bipartisan group on capitol hill take the lead on immigration reform. >> i met with the president wednesday. help agr he agreed to give us the space we need to come up with a bipartisan proposal. so we're working well together. i know that senator rubio was upset with this leak. >> reporter: in an interview with univision, the president made it clear his patience with congress has its limits. >> so we need to take the opportunity. we need to do it fast. i don't want us waiting six months a year to get this done. >> reporter: some on capitol hill worry this leak was the white house's way of pushing its agenda now. now, white house officials insist they did not leak this draft and they didn't even want it out. they are still unapologetic at the same time about preparing their own legislation. they say they're doing that in case the senate's efforts to reach a bipartisan deal collapse and they want a backup plan.
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the group of senators who are working out a bipartisan compromise, they've already agreed on their principles but don't be mistaken, they have not yet written a complete bill. sources tell me that that is on track to be done around mid-march. again, the white house is prepared that that process could collapse. they say it's making progress. >> what exactly did the republican object to in this draft immigration bill that was leaked out of the white house? >> they say the white house's bill as far as they know is too vague and too weak on border security, as you know, a big issue for republicans. another major complaint i hear from both business leaders and republican officials is that the president's proposal does not include a temporary worker program for low-skilled workers. now, those workers -- some see them as competing for american jobs. so uniones are w s of wary a te worker program and so are democrats. >> so we know about gas prices
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going up during the summer driving season, but guess what, it's still winter and gas prices have gone up for 32 straight days. the average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.73. so what's going on? cnn's alison kosik is joining us from new york right now with some answers. the question, alison, what is going on? >> reporter: yes, that is the question. it's interesting you mentioned $3.73 as the national average for a gallon of regular. but look, here in new york, we have the privilege of being over the national average at $4.15 a gallon. same with l.a. l.a. actually has it worse at $5.19 a gallon. why is this happening? why are we seeing gas prices go up? a couple of things that are kind of business as usual. first of all, a seasonal factor. what's happening now is the winter blend of gasoline is being switched over to the cleaner more expensive summer blend. so what happens with that and a lot of refineries wind up shutting down and that crimps
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supply, causing prices to go up more. a lot of the price that makes up the price of gas actually is oil. oil prices are up 10% in the past two months. so that's because there is an expectation that demand for fuel is going to rise as we see the economy improve. now, keep in mind that -- who sets the price for oil? oil prices are determined in the global marketplace. the u.s. is just one small player in it. and that's why a lot of drivers we talked to today just say, you know what, we just have to accept it. >> i always have this mind-set in my head that $50 to $60 gas, i have to pay either day. >> i want to convert the diesel to vegetable oil because i do a lot of frying and i want to convert -- so i want to have a diesel engine and convert it to vegetable fuel. go green. >> reporter: go green, but, you
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know, that i think is a long time -- before something like that happens. a lot of people thinking about getting creative. the reality is, thing we're stuck paying these high prices, at least for a while. >> how much longer can we expect these gas prices, alison, to go up? the key concern is every time it goes up a little bit, it affects poorer people, middle class people, a whole lot more than rich people. because so much more of the middle class, they have to devote to buying gasoline. >> reporter: exactly. that is a huge factor. you think about our paychecks are much smaller since the payroll tax holiday went away. yeah, as that happens, we see gas prices go higher. we talked to some analysts. even aaa saying you can expect the average price for a gallon of gas won't go any higher than last year's peak at $3.94. so expect prices to continue going higher this year and they're going to probably peak in the spring, wolf, of course if other factors happen that
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$3.94, well that could go higher than that. >> almost like a regressive tax on everyone who wants to drive a car. so certainly something of concern. alison, thank you. for a state-by-state look at the price of gas and an interactive map, go to cnnmoney.com. reporting a blood stained cricket bat has emerged in the murder case against the olympic star oscar pistorius. lisa sylvester has that. >> the paper citing a source reports detectives are working to determine whether that bat was used to attack the so-called blade runner's model girlfriend or whether she used it in self-defense. they're also investigate the possibility he used the bat to break down his bathroom door. an official says she was shot four times through the door and was later carried downstairs by pistorius, still alive. the olympic star is due back in court tomorrow. the same day his girlfriend is being buried. he denies any wrongdoing. we will have much more on this
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case just ahead in our next hour. venezuelan president hugo chavez announced via twitter today he's back in his country after months of undergoing treatment for cancer surgery in cuba. the announcement comes just after the release of this picture showing the ailing president with his two daughters. chavez says he'll continue treatment in venezuela. government accounts of his condition have been vague since the december surgery. he's seen with his daughters there. just weeks after leaving the state department, hillary clinton is now ready to join the high-priced speaking circuit. she has signed up with the harry walker agency which represents president clintened along with gore and cheney. mrs. clinton is expected to make well into the six figure range per speech. her husband has made more than $89 million just from speaking fees. and security is high at the upscale four seasons hotel in midtown manhattan where police say two men smashed a lobby display case, and got away with
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more than $160,000 in high-end wristwatches and jewelry over the weekend. the hotel says this particular jewelry line is popular with celebrities ranging from jay-z to former new york city mayor rudy giuliani and the nypd continues its search for the suspects. not a place you would thing of as a possible target but yes they apparently targeted this hotel lobby and stole a lot of these high-end watches, wolf. >> thanks very much, lisa. a troubled country music star is dead. an apparent suicide. joining us next, our own dr. drew pinsky who spoke to the singer not long ago. and four months after superstorm sandy, some victims are reduced, right now, get this, to begging their banks for money. why they're not getting their insurance payments. >> we came here to live the american dreeam. now we're living the american nightmare because they're holding our money and we can't get it. osteoarthritis pain.
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♪ i need 10,000 angels ♪ watching over me tonight ♪ i need 10,000 angels "i need 10,000 angels," words that propelled a young mindy mccready to country music superstardom nearly 20 years ago. now taking on chilling new meeting after her long spiral downward has ended in an apparent suicide. cnn entertainment correspondent nischelle turner is taking a closer look at her troubled past. >> reporter: wolf, mindy first caught the public eye at the tender age of 21 as a fresh faced country singer with a lot of promise. in recent years, she'd been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. mindy mccready reached the heights of country music in
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1996. ♪ when the shoe's on the other foot ♪ ♪ know that's when it hits the fan ♪ >> reporter: her song "guys do it all the time" hit number one on the country charts and her debut album sold more than 2 million copies. while she was able to put a total of 14 songs and 6 albums on to the country chart, she never surpassed that early peak. becoming more famous for her arrests. in 2004, she was arrested for trying to illegally obtain oxycontin. that was followed in 2005 by an arrest for drunken driving. that same year, mccready also testified against her boyfriend who was accused of beating her. he served a 30-day sentence after pleading guilty to assault. at the time, she told cnn's larry king she was treating the incident as a wake-up call. >> yes, things have been going bad. i think it's god's way of getting my attention, saying, you better wake up, girl, i have important stuff for you to do in
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life, and i've definitely been preoccupied and side tracked doing the wrong things. >> reporter: but her life continued to go off course later that year. with arrests for identity fraud and drunken driving. and a drug overdose while pregnant that authorities called a suicide attempt. giving birth to her son xander in 2006 didn't stop the downward spiral. she was charged with domestic battery and resisting arrest in 2007 after a fight with her mother. she slashed her wrists in another apparent suicide attempt in 2008. and fought a very public custody battle with her mother over her son. in 2009, she went public with her substance abuse issues on "celebrity rehab" with dr. drew, who works for cnn/hln. he says she was getting better. >> things were looking up form her. >> reporter: but it seems any progress may have been derailed when her current boyfriend died a reported self-inflicted gunshot wound last month.
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>> she had children with a boyfriend who ended up killing himself a few weeks ago. she was struggling with that. she actually admitted herself to a psychiatric facility. she became so fearful of the stigma and the way people were responding to her being hospitalized she checked herself out prematurely and now we have what we have. >> reporter: she leaves behind two sons, age, 6 and 10 months old. if you're wondering where the boys are today, cnn received a statement from mccready's rep this morning say, quote, zane and staxander are cared for by foster families at this time. >> joining us now, hln's dr. drew pinsky, the host of "dr. drew on call." he treated mindy mccready on vh1's "celebrity rehab with dr. drew" in 2009. thanks very much for joining us. you've treated her. she was on your show, "celebrity
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rehab." tell us about her a little bit. does her death surprise you? >> it surprises me in the sense -- well, i'll tell you how it doesn't surprise me first. she had severe enough addiction that she had a seizure in withdrawal, as you're seeing there. she had repeated bouts of treatment. repeated mental health issues. suicide issues. we have somebody who with advanced addiction and dual diagnosis, that is a fatal combination, particularly if someone is not actively engaging in treatment. i'd not been treating her for several years but it appears she was beginning to get things together. sh she had a trouble relationship, her children in her own custody, and things were going well till the boyfriend killed himself and things unravelled. i was contacted by friends and family and i actually reached out to her about ten days ago and she agreed with me she needed to get help at that point. she was really struggling. profoundly depressed and shattered by the death of the boyfriend. she went to treatment. but her main concern was the
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stigma and the judgment of people in the press and public. and i'm convinced, and i'm just beside myself about this, that she left treatment prematurely because of that stigma. if she had stayed in treatment, she'd be with us today. shep has chronic issues. it needed regular maintenance. we should not judge her any more than we judge a cancer patient who went back in the hospital for treatment. she needed to take care of herself. she was on the road to do so. and felt too stigma tied to see it out and look what we have. >> there are so many people out there who are afraid of that stigma, how it could be impacting their lives. and they don't get the treatment they really need. talk to those people right now, dr. drew, and tell them they can't worry about that. they need help. >> that's right. wolf, these are medical conditions. they're brain deez sos. just the way we take care of heart diseases. and it is potentially fatal. this is a case of in point. people with severe depression
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die of their depression through suicide. suicide is a symptom of their depression. if you throw in drugs and alcohol on top of that or eating disorders or cutting or any other chronic conditions, the problability of a bad outcome i so much higher. do not think in terms of people conquering a chronic illness. think in terms of enrolling in treatment and maintaining treatment for as long as is necessary. often lifelong maintenance. maybe not every day but regular maintenance. and, again, think of it as a cancer that's dangerous. it has recurrences. you need to go back in the hospital. and you go back to the chronic treatment. it is no different. >> what can you say, dr. drew, to some folks out there who might be watching right now, they're worried about someone they love who has all the warning signs of addiction, has actually attempted suicide before, how can they help these people? >> you know, some of it you have to realize is you yourself can only do so much. and when somebody has a life-threatening medical emergency, which is what a suicide gesture or thought is,
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you need to bring in help. whether it is law enforcement or suicide assessment teams or the mental health community or the medical community. just take them to an emergency room. do not -- this is the big advice. do not go it alone. on hln, 90% of the horrible stories i'm reporting about are mental health issues that come in contact with firearms. people didn't go all the way to the mat with getting these people care. as a result, disaster has occurred. >> i'm told, dr. drew, mindy is the fifth "celebrity rehab" cast member to die in two years. here's the question, are you worried the show potentially could be having a negative impact on the lives or -- of these troubled celebrities or is this just an unfortunate reality? >> i believe it is the latter. we always worry these people are getting the right care and enough care. it appears that the people that are now sober and maintaining their treatment are doing great. and those that pulled away and started doing things on their own may or may not have been
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piecing together treatment, things don't turn out so well. >> what a sad story. what a talented woman. and to -- >> yes, lovely woman, beautiful. >> to end it all like this is such a horrific situation, so sad. dr. drew, thanks so much. >> sickening. thanks, wolf. massive automatic spending cuts are looming throughout the federal government right now. most americans could feel at least some kind of serious impact. but are government officials using scare tactics to make their point?
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so time is quickly running out unless congress acts by march 1st, $85 billion in spending cuts will kick in automatically. 2 million federal workers
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potentially could face furloughs. but one way or another, the impact may be felt by most americans. the white house is warning that 10,000 teacher jobs, for example, would be at risk, and 70,000 children could be removed from head start. the cuts would hit during the tax season. meaning millions of taxpayers would have tougher time getting answers from the irs. cnn's chris lawrence has been looking at other areas where you may feel the sting. chris, the government officials, are they overly hyping the impact of these forced cuts? >> well, wolf, in some cases, yes. they are. in fact, in a minute, i'm going to give you a very surprising number that may make you rethink this whole idea of what a cut to the budget really is. travelers stuck and frustrated at airport checkpoints. national parks closed during kid's summer break. even disability checks delayed for weeks. >> i'd be scared to death.
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>> reporter: some officials are turning the threat of deep budget cuts into a federal government budget of "fear factor." nobody's social security will be reduced because of these budget cuts. but someone sti has to process them. the social security administration is sending letters to congress, warning what will happen if it has to fire or furlough workers. appli nt kas will have to wait two weeks longer on an initial disability claim and nearly a month longer for a disability hearing decision. homeland security says flyers won't be able to easily clear customs. >> peak reach times which can already reach over two hours can grow to four hours or more. >> reporter: in the persian gulf, the navy dropped from two aircraft carriers to one and says more cuts are coming. >> we will not be able to respond in the way the nation has expected and depended. >> reporter: but some are wondering if there are less frightening alternatives. representative duncan hunter
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says the pentagon could cut the navy's experimental green fleet or an underperforming army system. instead of deployments that affect national security. >> there's no fat left to cut. >> reporter: so says the national parks. officials are warning anyone planning a family trip to yellowstone or yosemite, expect shorter hours and -- >> possibly closed camp grounds. >> reporter: the park service could lose more than $100 million. but it's got a $2 billion budget. some critic, say almost any organization can survive a 5% cut to its budget. now, about that number, the number is $1 trillion. that's what the federal government had in discretionary spending in the year 2007. even cutting 85% off these mandatory cuts, the federal government would still be spending more than they did in 2007. in fact, $150 billion more.
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a lot of the critics will point to that year and say, look, we still were able to fly. the kids got school lunches. we got our social security checks. and they say some of this hype has been overblown in terms of this mandatory budget cut deal, wolf. >> even if there are the mandatory cuts, let's be precise, the defense department, your pentagon correspondent, the defense department's budget spending will go up every single year over the next years but not necessarily at the rate of increase they would have liked without these mandatory cuts, isn't that right? >> reporter: yeah, look, wolf, when they say budget cuts, it's not the same as you and me at home. it's not the same as saying, i've got $100 to spend, now i only have $80 to spend. what these cuts are saying is we expected to get this increase in two years or in six years or in eight years. and now we're going to shave a bit off all of those increases. the budget's still going up.
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it's just not going up quite as much. >> these are cuts in the projected growth. only in washington are they really called cuts because there will be increases in defense spending every single year but not necessarily at the rate of increase they would have liked. all right, good explanation, chris lawrence, working the story for us. president obama spends the weekend at an exclusive golf club in florida. you can bet he wouldn't have done that before the election. we're talking about that and more in our strategy session. stay with us. see life in the best light. outdoors, or in. transitions® lenses automatically filter just the right amount of light. so you see everything the way it's meant to be seen. maybe even a little better.
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along with republican strategist ana far varnavarro. there's been a little commotion about the president playing golf with tiger woods. this reporter writes, it is hard to imagine a year ago mr. obama would have spent a three-day weekend at an exclusive resort with an all-male group, especially giving recurrent complaints of too few women in his innermost circle. what do you think about that kind of criticism, ben? >> listen, every president needs a break. this is one of the most mentally challenging jobs in the world. george w. bush went to crawford. h.w. bush went to kennebunkport. reagan went to santa barbara. the fact is the president wanted some time off. this will allow him to ensure that his decision making is in top form. and every president along the line has done this. i'd be surprised if you heard republicans who have worked in the white house criticize this. they know that a president needs vacation time to ensure his performance is where it needs to
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be. >> i think that's fair enough. why the secrecy? why not let photographers get a picture of the president playing golf with tiger woods? >> i think this is much ado about nothing. those are the same terms, the same arrangement, that the press has had for every golf outing. you get a list of the people he golfs with but not a picture. it's not a photo op. i'm always a little bit leery when reporters become the story. it was obviously a slow weekend in the news. >> what do you think about that, ana? >> well, wolf, look, i think if michelle obama is okay with the president spending a guys weekend alone with tiger woods, i'm okay with it too. i think the guy has a right to play golf. i think he has a right to do it in privacy. i also think the press has a right to push for wanting access and for wanting pictures. they are the white house press corps. they're traveling. they're there. they want to do something. so i think it's fine. i think that's what our society
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is. and they have transparency. i also think "new york times" is right. this probably would not have happened a year ago. then again, he's not standing for election again. and there's things a president can do after an election he wouldn't do before one. >> i want to show our viewers an air force one picture. this is air force one on the tarmac, west palm beach international airport. the president getting ready to board air force one after his weekend outing, golf outing, i should say. and the president getting ready to fly back to washington. we'll show you live pictures as the president gets there and goes up those stairs. let's get to another issue right now. ben, i'll start with you again. the whole issue of immigration. this leaked plan that the president apparently has that the white house has been circulating within the administration. republican senator rubio of florida, he reacted when the story came out. he said, if actually proposed, the president's bill would be dead on arrival inening cou enc
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leaving us with a broken illegal immigration system for years to come. i'll ask ana, let's start with her first, what's wrong with some of the ideas in this draft immigration reform plan that's circulating within the administration, assuming congress can't get its act together? >> look, what's wrong with it, it puts at risk and demeans the bipartisan agreement congress has been working on. it's practically the only glimmer of hope we have for immigration, is if this bipartisan agreement can survive. and these sort of leaks are certainly not helpful to the survival of these bipartisan -- of the bipartisan agreement. there's a lot of suspicion when it comes to the white house, when it comes to whether this is going to be used for political purposes. whether it's about the hispanic vote being used as political pawns. it's just not going to work. look, wolf, in an ideal world,
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the president, the white house, would be calling republicans and democrats and senate in the bipartisan group and working together with them on a plan. that has not happened. and right now, whether we like it or not, whether we accept it or not, the president of the united states has a level of toxicity within congress that is a reality. and so it has a better shot of passing immigration reform if it comes from congress to congress. >> the president, i mutt sst sae hasn't been actively involved then, he's letting these bipartisan leaders in the senate and the house do the work. in case they fail, he wants to have some sort of i guess last resort to see if they can achieve some comprehensive reform. >> that's because that's what has the best chance of passing. i think there's a little bit of kibuki theater going on here on the republican's part. the white house reached out immediately after that "usa today" story hit to say they
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hadn't leaked this plan, that they stand by the bipartisan gang of eight process in the senate. and they've known the principles the president has been fighting for dating back to his days in the senate. he outlined them in the state of the union address. sure, they have a responsibility to put a plan together, to make sure it's ready to go, if they need it. and they circulated it to agencies within the administration who are going to do the work to get that done. but the way to get this done is through the bipartisan process. republicans were never going to rubber stamp what the president put forward. this has the best chance of passage. >> guys, hold on, i want to continue this conversation. we're also standing by to see the president take off from west palm beach, back to washington. much more of our strategy session right after this. music: "make someone happy" music: "make someone happy" ♪it's so important to make someone happy.♪ it's so important to make meone happy.♪ ♪make just one someone happy ♪and you will be happy too. [ slap! ]
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disgraced politician seeks forgiveness in a new campaign ad. we're back to talk about that with former obama campaign press secretary ben labolt and our cnn contributor, the republican strategist ana navarro. ana, i'll start with you this time. mark sanford, he was the governor of south carolina. his whole governorship got derailed because his marriage, his reputation got derailed at the same time for extramarital affair. he's now running in a special congressional election in south carolina. i'm going to play a clip from an ad he's now running. >> i've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes but in their wake we can learn a lot about grace, a god of second chances and be the better for it. in that light, i humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing washington. >> what do you think about that,
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that strategy that he's got there as a republican candidate? >> well, wolf, yeah, our christian god is a god of second chances. i think he better hope that the voters of south carolina are voters of second chances and give him a second chance. i think he got lucky that his wife isn't running in the seat as some expected her to do. it would have been a political war of the roses. he's got to apologize. everybody knowns in south carolina what happened. he's got issues with the favorability numbers. and it's good to apologize. it's good to admit you made mistakes and to ask for forgiveness. he's got no other choice. >> what do you think about all of this from the democratic perspective, ben? >> well, i think the slogan for his campaign should be elephant in the room. look, he was going to have to address this at some point. i think, you know, in the eyes of the public, his violation of the public trust might be worse than what he did on the personal front, disappearing for days
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without telling his staff or the people of south carolina where he was. i think it says something about the state of the republican party, that this is the strong et candidate they can field in a ruby red district in south carolina. >> let's talk about israel for a second, ana. marco rubio, he's in the region right now, he's visiting israel. rand paul was there in january. president obama's scheduled to go in march. what's going on here? why are all these guys visiting israel right now? >> well, because it's such an important part of the world. for the same reason that the preside press, that you have spent so much time there, because it's so important to the united states and we have a special relationship with israel, also with jordan. i i think what rubio is doing is very smart. gets viewed through the 2016 prism. the best thing -- >> hold on, ana, i just want to tell our viewers, you see the president climbing the stairs to air force one, getting really to head back to washington from his golf outing over the weekend.
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he'll wave. there he is. he always does that. then he'll go inside, take that relatively short flight back to washington probably two hours or so. go ahead. i interrupted. finish your point, anna. >> so marco rubio, wolf, is a member of the senate intelligence committee, a member of the foreign relations committee. this is not his first time in israel. it was the first trip he did just after getting elected. it's also important from a local politic, perspective. there's an enormous amount of very significant jewish community in south florida and florida and it's an important thing for him to do. he's got to do his job as a senator first before thinking of anything else. and this is part of it certainly. >> as you know from the campaign, you were deeply involved in his re-election, he was criticized for not visiting israel during his first year. but now he's going. why now? >> well, i think there's a window for progress. at this moment. that the white house sees. if you look at many of the recent presidents, many of them didn't visit the region or
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israel specifically till their second term. there's a window for action now. in terps of senator rubio in his 2016, he's following the same path the president did. he came from state government. he joined the senate foreign relations committee. he's educating himself with this series trips abroad. through that 2016 lens, he's now going to get more scrutiny in terms of everything he does. you saw it with the water bottle incident. you'll certainly see everybody take a look at other stories that came out during the campaign. whether it was the ethics allegations in florida, "the washington post" stories, looking into whether or not he told the truth about his family's history. all of that will be heightened now that folks are looking at this through the 2016 lens. >> we'll look -- >> i did tell him, you'll be happy to know, i did tell him to stay properly hydrated in israel and jordan. >> i'm sure he -- >> good advice. >> got to drink a lot of water over there. thanks very much. interesting though, you seem to
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think marco rubio's going to the president's handbook back when he was a senator, thinking about running for president. think rand paul is probably doing the same thing. eason the foreign relations committee as well. up next, a mother tries to console her crying toddler on a plane and a stranger actually slaps the boy. >> i could not believe that he would say something like that, and -- to a baby, and then to hit him was just -- i felt like i was in another world. ...with! director's voice: here we go. from the top. and action for over 75 years people have saved money with gecko so.... director's voice: cut it! ...what...what did i say? gecko? i said gecko? aw... for over 75 year...(laughs. but still trying to keep it contained) director's voice: keep it together. i'm good. i'm good. for over 75...(uncontrollable laughter). what are you doing there? stop making me laugh. vo: geico. saving people money for over seventy-five years. gecko: don't look at me. don't look at me. more "likes." more tweets.
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>> we heard of a lot of strange things happening on airplanes, but not necessarily this. a little boy allegedly slapped
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because he wouldn't stop crying. let's bring in renee with stunning details. this is generating a lot of commotion. >> for sure is. the allegations that this happened on the flight for some parents, they may be furious when they hear the details. for other parents they may be in shock that this could happen. the attorney for the man accused of slapping this crying baby on a plane said don't rush to judgment just yet. >> jonah bennett is the 19-month-old allegedly slapped for crying on a delta flight from minneapolis to atlanta on february 8th. >> i was having trouble comforting him. that's when the guy had made his comment to me. >> the 33-year-old jessica said the altitude change caused her son's discomfort and a fellow passenger lost it. court documents say this man allegedly told jessica "shut
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that n word baby up and slapped jonah with an open hand. >> i could not believe he would say something like that to a baby or about a baby and then to hit him was just -- i felt like i was in another world. i was shaking. >> are she and her adopted son were in 28 b and in seat 28 a was hundley. >> he was rude and i felt uncomfortable. >> she spent most of the flight standing in the back of the plane with jonah. but she returned to her seat for landing when the incident happened. fellow persons came to aid. hundley appeared intoxicated. >> the family wants to make sure that mr. hundley and anyone like him never does something like that again. >> on sunday, his employer fired him, calling reports of his
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behavior while on personal travel offensive and disturbing. he worked at agc aerospace and defense and supplies technology and other services to the military. hundley is charged with assaulting a minor. his attorney told cnn "this escalated into a racial issue and i want to be clear my client is not a racist." she said he is dealing with his own issues. >> the family's attorney said they are exploring the option of a civil suit. hundley's attorney said he will plead not guilty. >> there eyewitnesss on that plane that can verify it. >> absolutely and the fbi in the process of interviewing all of those people who saw something that might be helpful in the investigation. >> slapping that little baby and using the n word? that is disgusting. >> yeah. >> they have gone from the american dream to an american nightmare. desperate measures for sandy victims.
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almost four months since super storm sandy hit the east coast, some resort to desperate
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measures. >> begging for money is not something katherine thought she would have to do. >> i had to beg the bank to give me a loan so i could pay the contractors. when he is finished with this segment of work, we have to stop. we don't have any more money. >> nearly four months since sandy destroyed her home in i land park, new york, she has been calling the mortgage banker every day, begging them to release insurance money so they can rebuild and go home. >> we have a 4-year-old little boy who we spent his college money towards being able to send him to college later in life. it's gone. >> hall who is originally from britain and her husband bob and 4-year-old son, nathan have been
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living in a hotel since november. they are waiting for insurance money. the governor blamed unnecessary red tape and accused banks of not releasing $200 million worth of insurance. some require proof the repair has been made before they reimburse for the cost. >> there is a lot of people here that just don't have any money and they are told to do 30% of the work and they get 30% of the money. >> they are scared you will leave and leave them with a property that is not sellable. we invested a lot of money in this house. it's our home. >> banks contacted by cnn tell cnn they distributed more than 75% of all insurance money.
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the mortgage lender who we asked they not name did not respond. >> we came here for the america dream and we are living the american nightmare. they are holding our money and we can't get it. it's not fair. everybody is in the same position. everybody. like i said, i don't know a single person who had a dime. >> the waiting and uncertainty is taking a toll as devastating as the storm itself. cnn, new york. >> happening now, guns and blood on the streets and why a new killing hits the president closer to home. a troubled country star and new details about mindy mccreedy's apparent suicide. why the president doesn't want him to see him play with tiger woods. an icy point of impact. danica patrick told us about her
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new success in a man's world. nascar. i'm wolf blitzer and you are in "the situation room." first this hour, another teen shot dead near president obama's how many tone with a chilling connection to him and the fight against gun violence. the young girl standing behind the president is grieving now for her sister. another innocent bystander whose life was cut short boy a bullet. we have more on this truly heart breaking story. what happened? >> it's probably the last thing on little destiny's mind when she is standing behind the president and listening to him speak about gun violence and what we do to solve the problem in chicago around the country. later that night, she would find out her older sister was shot
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and killed by the same problem. >> when president obama returned to chicago last week to talk about gun violence, 14-year-old destiny warren was one of the high school students stand says oing behind him. a few hours later, destiny's 18-year-old sister was shot and killed in this alley in north chicago. >> all this gun violence that is going on out here, you never think it would be your child. this is the hardest thing for me in my life. >> she was not the intend target of the gunman. the same was apparently true in this 15-year-old's murder. her parents also attended the speech where he said this about her death. >> what happened to hidea is not unique. >> they were heartbroken to find out another chicago family is now dealing with the loss of a child. >> just knowing how devastated
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this mother was because i can relate now. my heart feels totally different and i was devastated for her. >> they're called the family to offer condolences. according to her parents, they talked about pendleton's murder a few days before she was killed. >> she was like mama, that's sad. i feel so bad for that girl. every time she saw kids on tv, she said mama, that's so sad. i feel so bad for these people who have to lose their kids. >> she had a 3-month-old son who will grow up without a mother. her parents will raise him and try their best to keep him safe. >> sadly she was not the only teenager to be killed friday night after president obama's speech. 18ier old frances colon saw the helicopter flying over and she got a convenience store and got caught up with gang gunfire and
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got killed. she was a college bound high school senior. her parents said she wanted to be a lawyer. >> this gang killing is unacceptable. they have to take action to stop this. it's totally unacceptable. thanks very much. i will have a live interview with a young woman just gunned down in the chicago area. i will fill in for anderson cooper on oc 360 later here on cnn. kate baldwin is here and we will watching the sad death of a country star. >> from one sad story to another. mindy mccready turned the gun on herself after struggling with addiction and mental illness. she was 37 years old. ♪
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that was the title track from her 1996 debut album 10,000 angels. while she rose on the charts, her life was falling apart. ed is in arkansas where her body was found yesterday on her front porch. it seems so many people were rooting for her to recover and come back. what a tragic ending. >> reporter: absolutely a tragic ending. the first signs of trouble were yesterday afternoon when authorities here in arkansas say they got a phone call from a friend of hers who just got a message from a family member that something urgent needed to be taken care of and something frightening going on. on sunday afternoon, two gunshots echoed through the piney woods surrounding her modest lakefront home in arkansas. authorities arrived and found the singer's body on the same porch where her boyfriend david wilson was found dead in
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january. investigators said it appears before killing herself, she also shot and killed her dog. a pet she and wilson got shortly after moving to this area a year and a half ago, a place far from the glaring lights of fame. mccready broke into the scene in 1996 and sold millions of records before her life started unraveling. rocky relationships and battles with drug and alcohol abuse and struggles with mental illness. she spoke with larry king about fighting the demons. >> things have been going bad. i think it's god's way of getting my attention and saying you better wake up, girl. i have important stuff for you to do in and i've definitely been preoccupied and side tracked doing the wrong things. >> there was mystery swirling around the death of her boyfriend, david wilson. he committed suicide as well and
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investigators say it's still an open investigation. >> we are currently still gathering information in regards to mr. wilson's case. and the miss mccready case. when we are able to lay it out there, we will do so at that time. >> just a few weeks ago, she appeared on the "today" show and denied she had anything to do with wilson's death. >> oh, my god no. oh, my god no. he was my life. we were each other's life. >> do you 100% believe that david killed himself? >> i -- i don't know. >> do you think he could have been murdered? >> i don't know. >> after david wilson's death,
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cready took a turn for the worst. the father of her oldest son tried to regain custody of her son. mcknight is concerned about her psychological state and has grave concerns for the welfare and safety of their 6-year-old son. she tried to commit suicide twice before and even appeared on celebrity rehab with dr. drew. >> she was so fearful of the stigma and the way people were responding to her being hospitalized she actually checked herself out prematurely and we have what we have. >> outside the singer's arkansas home, kids's bicycles and car sits are sitting on the rain-soaked porch, a quiet stillness of this far away place could not silence the personal turmoil mindy mccready battled inside herself. >> a lot of questions about her two boys, 6 years old and 10 months old. we are told by a representative of mindy that those two boys are
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in the loving care of foster families and will be there for sometime. wolf? >> thanks very much. her suicide could be part of the national debate over gun laws. government records for 2010, the most recent year available, show three out of five gun deaths in the united states were suicides. that great proportion has been roughly the same every year for the past decade. >> olympic track star oscar pistorius is heading back to court. they are focusing on a blood stained the strained twist, his
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girlfriend coming through shot and killed in his home that morning. he has been appearing on south africa's television screens over the weekend. a beautiful girl, a beach and a reality show which showed contestant coming on the romantic side. they will continue to run on the television for the next nine weeks. meanwhile her boyfriend, the double amputee and olympic athlete spent the past few days in the jail charged with her murder. the charge strongly denied by pistorius and his family, this is his uncle who struggled to keep herself as they make a statement to the media. >> our entire family is devastated. >> investigators who had been combing through the home are starting to piece together what
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they think happened early on valentine's day. it was in this bedroom that they expected to spend the night. according to an official, her overnight bag and ipad were found. pistorius invited cnn into his room in 2008 when the pictures were taken. cnn is being told that he was shot times through a bathroom door and authorities say afterwards pistorius carried her down these stairs while she was still alive. questions still remain over reports of a bloody cricket match. did she use it to defend herself or did oscar use it to break down the door? police found steroids at the house which authorities have not commented on to cnn. as the legal process now begins against the man known as blade runner, all of oscar's future races have been canceled.
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he was scheduled to run for the uk and russia. the family said there will be a memorial service for her as producers of her reality show released this farewell message from her. which now becomes her last words, her last goodbye. >> i take from so many amazing memories and things that are in here and in here. i will treasure forever. i will miss you both so much and love you very, very much. >> so still no real motive. was it a crime of passion and jealously? were there drugs and steroids involved and was it a tragic misunderstanding and he thought there was an intruder in the bathroom. we don't know yet. wolf and kate, back to you. >> what a story. it gripped not only south africa, but the world because we all watched the olympics and it's a sad story. >> it's almost horrible and so
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painful for her family. now that this show is airing for the next nine weeks. it's so painful to see and ear tow see her speaking on tv after she is dead. yeah. >> we now know the cause of the fire that crippled the carnival triumph and turned the cruise ship into a floating disaster area. a leak developed in a return line for one of the ship's six engines when the line came into contact with a hot surface. the fire broke out and the head of the investigation said there was no reason to suspect the fire was set intentionally. they did a good job trying to contain the blaze. >> we are 11 days away from automatic massive cuts in federal spending unless congress steps in and we are getting a better sense of how they feel the pinch. as soon as april.
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the details will depend on the negotiations between the agencies and unions and the talks won't be finished until they are set to go into effect. >> senator john mccain is accusing the obama administration of a massive cover up. we will tell you why. did you see the pictures of president obama playing golf with tiger woods this weekend? neither did we. that's because there were no pictures released publicly. only this cnn exclusive video of him playing today and that was hard to come by. brian todd looking into why there is so little information about the president's golf tournament. to hidden fees. thankfully e-trade has low cost investments and no hidden fees. but, you know, if you're still bent on blowing this fat stack of cash, there's a couple of ways you could do it. ♪ ♪ or just go to e-trade and save it. boom.
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>> massive cover up. those are fighting words in washington. >> john mccain is now using those very words, taking his criticism of the obama administration to a new level. this is all about the deadly attack on u.s. diplomats in benghazi, libya from last year.
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let's bring in barbara star. where is all this heading now? >> it is stepping up once again. the debate over what happened in benghazi this past week already slowed down senate confirmation for chuck hagel at the pentagon to be secretary of defense. john brennan to take over at cia and senator john mccain again and still wants answers from the administration about it all. a congressional hearing -- >> you ought to have your facts straight. >> after congressional hearing. >> who is responsible now? >> john mccain challenges the white house on his response to benghazi. now he is going further on nbc's "meet the press." >> there many, many questions and we had a massive cover up. >> you said there is a cover up? a cover up of what? >> i will be glad to send you a list of the questions that have
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not been answered. >> the white house said it has given answers. conducted 20 briefings for congress and officials testified at ten hearings and answered 40 queries and it all adds up to 10,000 pages of documents. just last week he told cnn recent responses were "adequate. is this just politics? when we asked what questions he had, we were referred to this press release listing 14 questions. like this one, mccain repeated on "meet the press." >> who did he talk to the night of the attack on benghazi? >> some answers are already out there. regarding what the president knew, obama's chief of staff said the president was briefed throughout the night and the secretary of defense said -- >> after the initial reports about the attack in benghazi
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were received, general dempsey and i met with president obama and ordered all available dod assets to respond to the attack. >> he wants to know what actions the president took. the white house said that obama himself called the libyan president the day after the attack. mccain is also asking did the president and secretary of state hillary clinton know about a cable from ambassador chris stevens warning the counsel could not have survived a sustained assault. clinton testified she did not. mccain does have points here. he still is waiting and upons to see the e-mails about the infamous talking points and he very strongly believe that is the administration did not support the government in the early days. that led to instability of course throughout libya and he believes that contributed to the
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violence that broke out at that compound. wolf? >> until these questions are answered, for all practical purpose, they are holding up the confirmation to be the next secretary of defense. leon panetta is staying put for the time being. >> that's right. at least until a week from tuesday, they may try again on the senate floor expected to vote on him. make no mistake. he is having to stay an extra days and he was packed up and on the way back home to his home in california. he will have to go to a nato summit and then the question is, does he come back or go back home to california? >> thanks very much. >> thank you so much, barbara. coming up, the son of a media mogul and the sister of a comedian and disgraced former governor. they jumped in into the race for a congressional seat.
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[ wind howling ] easier than actually going to the bank. mobile check deposit. easier banking. standard at citibank. happening now, images of the president playing golf, but why you won't see tiger woods in the video. the race car driver danica patrick on the road ahead. she is in position to break a barrier for women in nascar on sunday. damage from a meteor explosion. we will take to you a remote area where the impact was powerful. i'm wolf blitzer and you are in "the situation room." president obama is on his way back to washington right now. he spent the weekend in florida playing golf and avoiding
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cameras. >> we obtained these exclusive far away pictures of the president and the video was pretty difficult to capture. peter did a great job, but we have seen nothing of the president's weekend round of golf with tiger woods. brian todd has been looking into it and joining us now. i think it's appropriate this time. >> no clear instances on this. the white house said media access was "consistent with other presidential golf outings." but the press corps complained about that and the optics don't look great for mr. obama. they are the two most high profile people in their feels. tiger woods in golf and president obama in almost everything else. they played golf together this past weekend, but we have more visuals of the president watching a top secret mission the night osama bin laden was killed than of mr. obama and
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tiger woods during the golf outing. the media was shutout. the press core complained. they responded by saying the access was consistent with previous outings. it's not unusual for president obama to go golfing away from the media glare. he golfed here at the army navy country club and other places and the press has not been allowed to capture those moments either. he is not the only president whose outings were sensitive politically. george w. bush got slammed after this moment in 2002. >> i call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. now what's this drive? >> analyst ron brownstein said the get together between president obama and tiger woods could be a similar moment. >> it's not the biggest deal in the world to go golfing with tiger woods, but i find it hard to believe his staff would have
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not laid down in front of the tracks to prevent this before the election. >> the president golfing with woods who was embroiled in a scandal with multiple accounts of marital infidelity wouldn't have played well with women voters, but there other optics as well. the automatic spending cuts could hurt a lot of people financially. that deadline is less than two week away, the president is vacationing in a club called the floridian where according to golf digest, it costs 25,000 to join by invitation and $12,000 in annual dues. not what you reach for the middle class voters he was trying to win over last year. the golf writer was there recently. >> pretty much everything is gated and security. >> contacted by cnn spokesman and said i don't think the american people begrudge their
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president spending a weekend outside washington with friends on the golf course. that said, the military aides and staffers and secret service agent who is travelled with him are a reminder that he is never far from the responsibilities of his job. that is say statement from josh. it may be consistent in avoiding pictures of the president playing golf with various people. playing golf with tiger woods, that's extraordinary. that's something they should let the white house get in there with cameras and get a shot of that. the speaker is a former member of the white house press. that's something they should let us get access to. >> everybody would have wanted to see that. no way to keep it a secret obviously. maybe after this all was booked, the only thing i can think of is after this was booked, they may have thought the optics and the visual would not be grt for the president politically. with the sequester coming up and criticism would come his way,
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who knows what they were inside the white house press room regarding this. clearly there was thought that they didn't want this out. >> whatever the excuse is, transparency, everybody knows to let the american public see the picture. what's the big deal? >> not a big deal. >> they didn't want us to see the president and tiger woods together. >> it's not a national security issue. >> he deserves a vacation. >> he certainly does. >> more coming up. what else do you have? >> a wild political contest going on right now that sounds almost like a reality show and very interesting at that. maybe the beginning of a strange joke. the comedian's sifter and disgraced politician enter the same race. regardless of the out come, no doubt it will be interesting. >> i'm mark sanford and i approve this message. >> out of the gate in his first television campaign ad,
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republican governor mark sanford confronts the scandal that thrust him into the national spotlight. >> more recently i have experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes. >> mistakes that include an extra marital affair in an infamous press conference. >> the bottom line is this. i have been unfaithful to my wife. i developed a relationship with what started as a dear friend from argentina and sparked into something more than that. i have seen her three times since then during that whole sparking thing. >> sanford is just one in a packed republican field for the state's first congressional district to fill the house seat vacated by now senator tim scott. peter broke the news in december that he was planning to mount a come back and said sanford appears to be the front runner. >> the controversy about the
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affair might not be that big of an issue in this district because unlike other districts, fiscal conservative issues play a larger role than social issues. >> sanford is not the only big name running. >> i'm teddy turner, a husband, father, graduate of the citadel and high school economics teacher. >> he is the son of media mogul and founder ted turner running for the republican not nomination as well. >> former governor mark sanford has to distance himself from himself, his own past and the infamous activities when he was governor. teddy turner, the son of ted turner has to distinguish himself that his politics are conservative even though his dad pretends to be liberal. >> holy cow, my sister is running for congress!
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>> yes, that's right. elizabeth colbert busch jumped into the race too. even though this is a republican-leaning district, you can't count her out. name recognition matters, particularly in special elections where turn out is expected to be low. >> it's such a sprint to the election. the candidates who are known even in a negative way, that's an advantage. >> we are talking about a tight time frame. the race started in mid-december when they moved over to the senate and the primary is set for mid-march. that's not a lot of time to introduce yourself to voters and especially more importantly to win them over and before you ask, elizabeth pronounces her last name differently than stephen colbert. >> for television sometimes you change it a little bit. >> burger king's twitter account
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. new details of the pope's health coming out. >> interesting details about the pope today. the "los angeles times" reports a german reporter who saw benedict the 16th about weeks ago said he appeared to be blind in his left eye and hearing has gotten worse. the german magazine said the pope told him i'm an old man. i strength is ebbing. i think what i have done is enough. this was a big scandal. maker's mark is reversing course on its watered down bourbon. they announced mans to cut the alcohol volume from 45% to 42% to meet demand. drinkers revolted and maker's mark got the message, dropping the plans and issuing an apology today. other news, singer leanne rimes is suing over what she said is
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negligent dental work that compromised her ability to perform. the lawsuit said eight faulty crowns caused her severe pain, inflammation and chronic gum blooding that forced her to have nine root canals and bone grafting and still needs new crowns. >> the folks at burger king are looking for whatever hacked their twitter posting a mcdonald's logo on their page. we were just sold to mcdonald's. they suspended the account after an hour of the nonsense and later the folks at mcdonald's tweeted we empathize with our burger king counterparts, but rest assures we had nothing to do with the hacking. my oh, my, some people have way too much spare time on their hands. maybe they had to figure it out. >> that's a long time to not
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check it. >> i like to pretend i don't understandocial media sometimes. >> you don't have to be a nascar fan to appreciate what danica patrick did this weekend. she is speak being her history-making achievement and the example for parents and children everywhere. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention. drown it out. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. an entirely new pursuit. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america.
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. fastest in practice yesterday. danica patrick whose hometown is roscoe, illinois. she calls the chicago area home. >> i love this next story. a new breakthrough for women in sports. clocked at just over 196 miles per hour. the driver, danica patrick, won the right to start in the best position for what is the super
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bowl of nascar races. the daytona 500. patrick is the first woman to qualify for the pole position or any top nascar race for that matter. don lemon had a chance to speak with her after her tour on the track. this is amazing. what did she have to say? >> it is amazing. let's not forget. she beat out jeff gordon and the last woman to come even close to danica patrick was in 1977. she placed 9th. it's not even really that close. i started out by asking her if she realized the historic implications of placing in this pole. >> in a simple word, yes, i understand. i think understanding the scope of what that means and what that will end up meaning if any is something that happens down the road. in the moment, it's about thinking about what i need to do for next sunday and trying to
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make more history. >> listen. don't be modest. you won this time. you won the pole position. what are you doing this time that is different or better than you were doing before or better than the other driver? >> i don't know how to answer that. all i can do as a driver when i qualify to place is be smooth and not let the car bind up too much. let it take its head and let it go where it wants to go and keeping a minimum distance as little as possible. other than that, it's very much about the crew. i know you told me not to be modest, but it is very much about the crew and the engine of the car. those elements have to be in place for to you go out and be able to have a chance. >> you are modest when you answered the history question. you do understand that you made history today. it is groundbreaking, but do you understand there young women and little girls at home watching
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who all of a sudden will say you know what, i can do that. i can be a race car driver or a danica patrick. little boys too. little boys had role models in racing from the beginning, but you were a role model for little girls. do you get that? >> i love it go beyond racing in general. just to kind of break gender barriers, i feel that one of the coolest things is to be able to think that parents and their kids are having that conversation at home about it. i heard stories about a kid, boy or girl, saying but mommy and daddy, that's a girl that's out there racing and they can have that conversation to say you can do anything you want to do. gender doesn't matter. your passion is what matters. that's cool. >> yeah. girl power is what she is saying. she is an inspiration to everyone, but especially little girls. guess what. i can do that.
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jeff gordon's daughter asked her dad to step aside so she could get into a picture with danica patrick. that's how cool that is. it goes to show. >> good work. >> a pretty great story. >> you are proud of her too. >> very proud. it's an amazing accomplishment and we hope that means good things to come. we will be watching next week. >> certainly will. thanks very much. don lemon helping us out. more news coming up including the shocking and damaging meteor explosion sparking a treasure hunt in russia. we are going there. we are on the scene. so we can occasionally glance back at where we've been. it has an enormous windshield so we can look ahead to where we are going. now is always the time to go forward. and reimagine all the possibilities that lie before us. an ally for real possibilities. aarp. find tools and guidance at aarp.org/possibilities.
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the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf., and every day since, we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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meteoric explosion over siberia.
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it costed an estimated $33 million in damage. only 19 people remain in hospitals so that's good news. >> now everyone is hunting for fragments from the explosion. one chunk punched a huge hole in a frozen lake. phil black was there today. >> this was a point of impact. this is where locals say they saw a fragment of the meteor break off when it was still overhead. and plummet down towards the earth, slamming into this frozen lake. the ice here is really thick. this lake is frozen for about six months of the year. but locals say the impact created a huge explosion of ice and snow high up into the air and a big steam cloud as well. up on the surface, scientists have been combing this whole area, and they say they have found 53 individual pieces of the meteorite. so little fragments have been found on the surface. a bigger mystery remains, what
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lies beneath the ice. scientists are pretty sure there are even bigger fragments sitting beneath the ice, beneath ten meters of water beneath the lake. divers have been in, but they sait was very silty, visibility was poor, they found nothing, but they're going to try again in the spring when the snow and ice melts, and scientists believe that will be the best time to find any fragments that made it to the surface. not just here at the lake, but across the vast snow-covered siberian wilderness. phil black, cnn, russia. >> we're also hearing reports of a mereurite gold rush. thousands are coming through the woods, some believing the fragments could bring 40 times the amount of gold. scientists said you should be aware of people trying to sell fragments that may or may not be
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authentic. >> an oscau olympic winner char with murdering his girlfriend. >> he'll be in court tomorrow and there will be a funeral for riva. we'll talk to an actress who knows oscar pistorius for many years. she has a very strong opinion of him, and you may have heard reports there had been a call related to a domestic disturbance from pistorius' home earlier, before this horrific event, and a lot of people have said this is an indication they had a problem in their relationship. well, vanessa knows exactly what that disturbance call was about. it's not what you would expect, but a very new and surprising angle to the story. we'll talk to her at the top of the hour. >> see you then. thank you. just ahead, i'll take you behind the scenes at the nba all-star weekend in houston this past weekend. the star power goes way beyond basketball.
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then you're going to love this. right now they're only $14.95! wow-a grt deal just got a whole lot better. hurry. $14.95 won't last. game capped a star-studded weekend in houston. so much of what we see in basketball these days is due in large part to one man who died
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today. los angeles lakers owner jerry buss was 80 years old. >> after two years of endless negotiations, i purchased the los angeles lakers. what a dream come true. >> back in 1979, jerry buss envisioned his newly bought lakers reflecting the glitz and glamour of l.a., led by kareem abdul-jabbar and magic johnson, the lakers won the championship in the new owner's first season, and a hollywood make over was under way. the fast paced 1980s lakers brand of showtimed lured new fans of the nba, including jack nicke nick nickelson. buss nmself would receive a star on hollywood's walk of fame. >> he was a man who was way ahead of his time. he understood entertainment
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value. he understood history. >> during the reign of jerry buss, the lakers won ten championships, the most of any major american sports team of that era, and they did so with style and their poker playing, smiling owner often courtside. even the laker girls became wildly popular and emulated. buss influenced a generation of entrepreneurs including magic johnson and dallas mavericks owner mark cuban. he had a ph.d. in physical chemistry, but said he made a lot of money investing in real estate, and he was well known for lavishly playing players like kobe bryant. >> he felt you could not win without superstars and could not capture l.a.'s imagination without giants. >> but perhaps none stood taller than jerry buss. the kid who stood poor in miami, passed